John McCain Is Not Internet Savvy Compared to 106 Year Old

July 21, 2008

If Sen. John McCain is really serious about becoming a Web-savvy citizen, perhaps Kathryn Robinson can help.

Robinson is now 106 – that’s 35 years older than McCain – and she began using the Internet at 98, at the Barclay Friends home in West Chester, Pa., where she lives. “I started to learn because I wanted to e-mail my family,” she says – in an e-mail message, naturally.

Blogs have been buzzing recently over McCain’s admission that when it comes to the Internet, “I’m an illiterate who has to rely on his wife for any assistance he can get.” And the 71-year-old presumptive Republican nominee, asked about his Web use last week by the New York Times, said that aides “go on for me. I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself.”

How unusual is it for a 71-year-old American to be unplugged?

That depends how you look at the statistics. Only 35 percent of Americans over age 65 are online, according to data from April and May compiled by the Pew Internet Project at the Pew Research Center.

But when you account for factors like race, wealth and education, the picture changes dramatically. “About three-quarters of white, college-educated men age over 65 use the Internet,” says Susannah Fox, director of the project.

“John McCain is an outlier when you compare him to his peers,” Fox says. “On one hand, a U.S. senator has access to information sources and staff assistance that most people do not. On the other, the Internet has become such a go-to resource that it’s a curiosity to hear that someone doesn’t rely on it the way most Americans do.”

McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan presented a somewhat updated picture when contacted by The Associated Press on Friday: “He’s fully capable of browsing the Internet and checking Web sites,” Buchanan said. “He has a Mac and uses it several times a week. He’s working on becoming more familiar with the Internet.”

That’s a good thing, says Tobey Dichter, CEO of Generations on Line, a group that helps bring seniors – including the 106-year-old Robinson – into the digital age.

“He needs the self-empowerment” of going online himself, says Dichter. “There are too many people surrounding John McCain who are willing to print an e-mail for him” -or do a search on his behalf, like the aides who, he says, show him the Drudge Report.

“But that cheats him of an opportunity to let his own mind take him to the next link,” says Dichter. “If he doesn’t know what links are available, he will only get exactly what he’s asking for, and nothing more.”

Why do most of us – 73 percent of Americans – use the Internet? The top three reasons are, in order, e-mail, informational searches, and finding a map or driving directions.

But there are dozens of other conveniences: Online banking, shopping, travel or restaurant reservations, job searches, real estate listings, and of course, the news (McCain, like many people over 30 or so, prefers his newspapers the old-fashioned way.) “The Internet is the ultimate convenience appliance,” says Fox.

McCain may be in “digital denial,” as Dichter calls it, but his family sure isn’t: His wife, Cindy, has been seen scrolling away on her Blackberry, and daughter Meghan, one of his seven children, blogs from the campaign trail on McCain Blogette.

As for McCain’s Democratic rival, Barack Obama is 46, and thus in an age group where fully 85 percent of Americans are plugged in. A CNN clip available on YouTube shows him so engrossed with his Blackberry while crossing a street that he bumps into the curb.

McCain’s frank admissions of his offline state have led to discussion of whether being wired is a qualification for leading the free world. One aide, Mark Soohoo, defended the senator’s lack of wiredness at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York in June by assuring the panel: “John McCain is aware of the Internet.”

One blogger opined last week that all the fuss is silly. McCain, wrote Newsweek’s Andrew Romano, hasn’t become computer literate because he hasn’t needed to. “When aides are responding to your messages and briefing you on every imaginable subject, the incentive to get online sort of disappears,” he wrote.

McCain is hardly the only prominent, wealthy, powerful man in the country to lack an affinity with computers. To take one, Sumner Redstone, the 85-year-old chairman of Viacom, “is not an avid user,” says a spokesman, Carl Falto. “He’s capable of going on but doesn’t do it frequently.”

On the other hand, famed Broadway director Arthur Laurents, 91, whose “Gypsy” is now a hit on Broadway, is known to respond faster to e-mails than to phone calls.

Among fellow senators, aides to Sen. Robert Byrd, 90, say he has a computer but prefers to speak directly to his staff and doesn’t carry a Blackberry.

What keeps some American seniors unwired? Some lack immediate access to a computer, Dichter says. But intimidation, she says, is the greatest problem.

“One has to be compassionate with a person who hasn’t gotten onto the information highway early, because the cumulative vocabulary is so intimidating,” she says. Also, many older people “feel they have a perfectly happy life without it. They feel that the world is overrun with electronic devices already.”

But, Dichter says, such people often change their minds when they realize they can get family pictures via e-mail – not to mention health information, support groups, and local community news. And Fox, of Pew, notes that seniors outpace other age groups in tracing their family’s genealogy online (a third of them say they do so, compared to a quarter of all Internet users.)

Robinson credits her computer with helping her withstand the effects of a stroke she suffered in 2003. “In my case I had a stroke and as a result could not talk,” she says in her e-mail. “The computer has been a lifesaver for me.”

Article by Jocelyn Novec

Andre Jetmir iNPLACENEWS

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Polls Show Republican Support and Enthusiasm Dying

June 13, 2008


The Republican party may face tough times at the polls come November, according to results of a new national survey.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Survey out Friday indicates that 2008 may not be a good year for Republicans up and down the ticket, even though most national surveys indicate the race for the White House between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama is quite close right now.

Sixty-three percent of Democrats questioned say they are either extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this year. Only 37 percent of Republicans feel the same way, and 36 percent of Republicans say they are not enthusiastic about voting.

“Republicans are far less enthusiastic about voting than Democrats are, and enthusiasm has plummeted among GOPers since the start of the year,” said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. “There was already an ‘enthusiasm gap’ in January, when Democrats were 11 points higher than GOPers on this measure. Now, that gap has grown to 26 points.”

“Bottom line: After eight years of the Bush presidency, Republicans are demoralized,” said Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst.

Fifty-three percent of registered voters questioned in the poll say they think that Obama, D-Illinois, will win the election, with 43 percent saying that McCain, R-Arizona, will win.

“In recent elections, the public has a good track record at predicting the outcome of presidential elections. Most polls which asked this same question in 2000 and 2004 showed more Americans predicting a victory by George W. Bush over John Kerry or Al Gore. The public also correctly forecast that Bill Clinton would beat Bob Dole in 1996,” Holland said.

In the battle for Congress, 54 percent of those questioned say they would vote for the Democrat in their congressional district, with 44 percent saying they’d vote for the Republican candidate.

“Democrats lead Republicans by 10 points in the congressional vote. At this point in 2006, the Democratic lead was seven points. Democrats went on to win a landslide in 2006,” Schneider said.

Another question hovering over this year’s campaign: Race. Forty-two percent say Obama’s race will make it more difficult for him to get elected, with 57 percent disagreeing.

“That concern is higher among Democrats, at 48 percent, than Republicans, at 36 percent,” Schneider said.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone on June 4 and 5, with 1,035 adult Americans questioned. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall sample and 5 percentage points for the answers of just Democrats or Republicans.

This story was originally found on CNN.COM

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After Pennsylvania The Polls Say…

April 23, 2008

The Gallup Daily

National
Obama 50, Clinton 42
McCain 46, Obama 45… McCain 47, Clinton 46

Rasmussen Reports

National
Obama 48, Clinton 43
McCain 47, Obama 44… McCain 47, Clinton 44

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McCain To Take Money From Taxpayers For His Campaign

April 21, 2008


John McCain is abandoning any hope of catching the Democrats in fundraising.

Based on new financial disclosure reports released Sunday, and interviews with his finance team, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee will instead accept taxpayer money to finance his general election and share other costs with the Republican National Committee.

The strategy will allow McCain to stretch his campaign dollars by splitting the cost of television advertising and other campaign activity with the RNC.

But the decision also puts the Arizona senator at risk of being badly outspent – even with RNC help – by a Democratic nominee who will be allowed to spend as much as he or she can raise on the November race.

McCain has raised a total of $72 million for his presidential bid, including $15 million in March. He ended last month with about $11.5 million in cash.

The rest of the story can be found @ Politico.com

iNPLACENEWS

*** Hypocrit! I hope people see this. From Campaign Finance Reform to bleeding a starving economy dry by taking what little money is left for his own potential gain.